Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 03-01-2017
Genre(s): M/M Bisexual, M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M Multicultural, M/M Coming Out
Page Count: 201
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
From bestselling author Mia Kerick comes a new Gay Romance that will keep you up reading all night!
Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.
Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.
Gradually, Vedie and Matt unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?
4.5 stars- Love through acceptance
I’m always up for an emotional journey featuring tortured characters and that’s precisely what the Scarred offered. The book started with an odd combination of lightness with an undercurrent of thoughtful moments. It quickly delved into even deeper territory, and remained introspective and gritty throughout the story. This book gripped me from start to finish, and I think it’s one that will stick in my head long after.
The characters were incredibly interesting. They were different from those I’ve come across in most contemporary romances, even the darker books. They had unique but similar struggles with existing in the world and being accepted for themselves. They complimented and contrasted one another, creating an intriguing study of how everyone handles stress and rejection differently. Where Vedie brought light and resilience to the relationship, Matt brought enduring strength. Vedie was an incredibly vibrant character who attacked life head on when possible, trying to free himself from the confines that once told him his gender fluidity and cross-dressing was wrong. Matt was the opposite, closing in on himself when people couldn’t understand or accept the way his abuse and abduction had changed the way he viewed people, the world, and relationships. The way these two broken men interacted and found themselves in each other was absolutely beautiful. The romance between Matt and Vedie was soulful, steeped in a quiet trust, patience, and gentle acceptance that transcended everything. Their bond quietly built and there were a lot of obstacles both had to overcome, but it made for a remarkable journey.
The conflicts the characters faced separately and together were heart wrenching. There was a lot of trauma endured and because of the abuse suffered by both characters at the hands of others, this may be a triggering read for some. However, the growth of each character was astounding. It was honest and difficult, but hopeful in many ways. The story is told in alternating first person point of view. The author did an excellent job giving each man a distinct voice that made the characters come alive. There were also excerpts of Matt’s journals from the past interwoven in the book which gave the reader a greater understanding of Matt’s thought process and why he closed himself off from the world. Not only did we get a glimpse into his past pain, but the journaling also highlighted just how much Matt grew and forced himself outside his comfort zones after meeting Vedie. I think this compelled me to have more empathy for Matt’s reluctance to let Vedie into his life.
As emotional as this book was, I found the tempo and pacing a bit off. The writing had a staccato rhythm that made it difficult to sink into the story. I think this lack of a smooth flow made the emotions less poignant. I felt for the characters, worried for them and wanted them to find happiness, and was often upset by the traumas they faced, but I always felt like an outside observer. There was just that extra oomph missing in an otherwise emotional book.
Scarred instills and reaffirms a lesson of understanding and empathy. There are many layers to the characters and this story, and it’s certainly not a light read in any sense. The author doesn’t make life easy for either character, but through it all there’s this optimistic spirit that permeates the storyline, the idea that love and acceptance can help heal the deepest of wounds. If you are up for a heavier read with a different storyline and unique characters, this is definitely worth your time.